UK Business Visa from Pakistan

The UK has a range of business visas available to Pakistani citizens who intend to enter the UK for business-related activities. Each UK business visa is tailored to a specific purpose and differs in its requirements.

For more information on the UK business visa, including a breakdown of each visa’s criteria and how you can apply from Pakistan, speak to one of our expert legal advisors. Call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.

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    Who Needs a UK Business Visa?

    Foreign nationals from Pakistan looking to come to the UK for business-related purposes, whether for short or long-term stays, must obtain a business visa.

    There are different UK business visas, each catering to distinct purposes. Depending on the visa you choose, you can attend business meetings or conferences, participate in trade shows, set up a new business, provide a service to a client, or establish a branch of your overseas business in the UK.

    The UK business visas also have distinct eligibility and documentation requirements that you must satisfy for your application to be successful. Of the visa options available, apply for the one that permits you to carry out your intended business activity and caters to your length of stay.

    An immigration lawyer can advise you on the right business visa to apply for. Speak with one of our lawyers today at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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    Types of UK Business Visas

    The UK has different business visas, and they include:

    Other UK business visas, such as the Entrepreneur Visa, Start-up Visa, Investor Visa, and Turkish Businessperson Visa, are not open for new applications. However, applicants already in the UK on these visas can apply to extend their stay, settle permanently, and bring in their dependents.

    Business Visitor Visa UK


    The UK Business Visitor Visa is a visa category under the Standard Visitor Visa. It allows you to enter the UK to engage in business activities for short-term periods, usually up to 6 months.

    Some of the activities you can carry out on the Business Visitor Visa include:

    • Attend interviews, meetings, conferences, and seminars
    • Negotiate and sign deals and contracts
    • Attend trade fairs to promote your business. However, you must not make any sales.
    • Partake in work-related training that is not available in your home country.
    • Deliver a one-off or short series of talks as long as they’re not for profit or a commercial event
    • Monitor the delivery of goods and services provided by a UK company to your overseas company
    • Conduct site visits and inspections
    • Deliver training or share knowledge on internal projects with your company’s UK-based employees
    • Install, dismantle, repair, service, or advise on equipment, computer software and hardware based on a contract with a UK-based organisation

    Note that the Business Visitor Visa will not permit you to partake in paid business activities or engage in self-employment while you’re in the UK. While you are allowed to engage in unpaid work, it must not be for a UK employer.

    When applying for the Business Visitor Visa, you can choose a short-term or a long-term visit visa. The long-term Standard Visitor Visa is appropriate if you visit the UK regularly, but you will not be allowed to stay more than six months on each visit.

    Requirements for the Business Visitor Visa

    Before you can apply for the UK Business Visitor Visa, you must prove that:

    • You will leave the UK at the end of your visit
    • You are able to support yourself throughout your stay in the UK, or you have a sponsor capable of financially supporting you
    • You will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits or make the UK your main home

    You must also provide documents detailing all business activities you intend to perform in the UK.

    Cost of the UK Business Visitor Visa

    Here’s a breakdown of the fees for each category of the Business Visitor Visa:

    Type Fee (£) Maximum length of stay
    Standard Visitor Visa £115 6 months
    2 year long-term Standard Visitor visa £400 6 months per visit
    5 year long-term Standard Visitor visa £771 6 months per visit
    10 year long-term Standard Visitor visa £963 6 months per visit

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      Permitted Paid Engagement Visa


      The Permitted Paid Engagement Visa allows you to visit the UK for up to one month to participate in a paid business activity. You can only apply for this visa if a UK-based organisation or client has invited you as a professional in your field.

      You can apply for the Permitted Paid Engagement Visa:

      • As a professional artist, entertainer or musician
      • As a professional sportsperson
      • As a qualified lawyer representing a UK-based client
      • To give a lecture or series of lectures
      • As an academic examiner or assessor
      • As an air pilot examiner

      Note that you will not be allowed to do any paid work unrelated to the main job you do or your area of expertise in your country. The Permitted Paid Engagement Visa costs £115.

      Requirements for the Permitted Paid Engagement Visa

      To apply for the Permitted Paid Engagement Visa, you must show that:

      • A UK-based organisation has formally invited you to a pre-arranged event or other permitted engagement
      • The event or engagement relates directly to your expertise, qualifications, and main job in your home country
      • You are an established professional in your field in your home country
      • You are visiting the UK for at most 1 month
      • You will leave the UK at the end of your visit
      • You can pay for your return ticket
      • You will not reside in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, nor make the UK your main home

      Innovator Founder Visa

      The Innovator Founder Visa is designed for entrepreneurs who want to set up and run an innovative business in the UK. This visa is an excellent alternative if you intend to apply for the now-closed Entrepreneur Visa or the Start-up Visa.

      To qualify for this visa, you must have an innovative idea that is unique and different from anything else in the market. Your business must be new and not already trading.

      You must prove that your business is viable and scalable. Your evidence should detail how it will create jobs and grow into the national and international markets. Additionally, an approved endorsing body in the UK must assess your business or idea and endorse it as innovative before you can apply for the visa.

      The Innovator Founder Visa costs £1,191, and if your application is successful, your visa will be valid for 3 years. When your visa expires, you can apply to extend it for another 3 years or immediately apply to settle permanently in the UK.

      With the Innovator Founder Visa, you can set up several businesses or take up paid work as an employee in another organisation, as long as it is an eligible skilled job.

      While in the UK, you must meet with your endorsing body after 12 and 24 months to show you’re progressing with your business. The Home Office might cut off your visa if the endorsing body withdraws your endorsement.

      Global Talent Visa

      You may qualify for the Global Talent Visa if you’re a leader or potential leader in any of the following fields:

      • Academia or research
      • Arts and culture
      • Digital technology

      Before you can apply for the Global Talent Visa, you must have either:

      • Successfully applied for an endorsement to prove you are a leader or potential leader; or,
      • Won an eligible award in your field

      The Innovator Founder visa costs £716. It will allow you to live and work in the UK as an employee, self-employed person, and company director for up to 5 years. When your visa expires, you can extend it to any duration between 1 and 5 years.

      You can apply for indefinite leave to remain after 3 (if you’re a leader) or 5 years (if you’re a potential leader) of living in the UK.

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        Global Business Mobility Visas


        Global Business Mobility visas are a group of visas designed to help overseas organisations conduct their business or expand their presence in the UK.

        The Global Business Mobility visa has five categories, each catering to specific immigration purposes. They include:

        • Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
        • Graduate Trainee Visa
        • UK Expansion Worker Visa
        • Secondment Worker Visa
        • Service Supplier Visa

        Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

        The Senior or Specialist Visa will allow you to enter the United Kingdom to work at the UK branch of your foreign organisation. To be eligible for this visa, you must:

        • Be an existing employee of an approved sponsor
        • Have a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer with information about the work you will do in the UK
        • Do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
        • Be paid at least £45,800 per year or the ‘going rate’ for your job, whichever is higher

        If you plan to live in the UK for 3 years or less, you’ll pay a visa fee of £719. If you plan to live for over 3 years, you’ll pay £1,420.

        The maximum time you can stay in the UK on this visa will depend on your income. If you earn less than £73,900 a year, you can stay for 5 years in any 6-year period. However, if you’re paid £73,900 a year or more, you can stay 9 years in any 10-year period.

        Graduate Trainee Visa

        If you’re on a graduate training programme for a managerial or specialist role, you can enter the UK to work for your employer in your company’s UK branch with the Graduate Trainee Visa.

        To qualify for this visa, you must have worked for your sponsor outside the UK for at least 3 months immediately before you apply. You must also earn at least £24,220 per year.

        The Graduate Trainee Visa costs £298. You can live in the UK for up to 12 months on it but cannot extend your visa when it expires.

        UK Expansion Worker Visa

        The UK Expansion Worker Visa will allow you to live in the UK for up to 2 years to set up a branch of your overseas business that has not yet started trading in the UK. You must already be working for the business as a senior manager or specialist employee.

        To qualify for the UK Expansion Worker Visa, you must earn at least £45,800 per year or the ‘going rate’ for your job, whichever is higher. You must also meet other general requirements for the Global Business Mobility visas.

        Secondment Worker Visa

        The Secondment Worker Visa applies if your employer transfers you to a job as part of a high-value contract with a UK-based organisation. The contract must be worth at least £50 million.

        You must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months before applying for this visa. If your application is successful, you can live in the UK for up to 2 years.

        Service Supplier Visa

        With the Service Supplier Visa, you work in the UK as either an employee of an overseas business or a self-employed service provider based overseas.

        Any service you provide must be under a contract covered by a valid international trade agreement. In addition, you must have the relevant qualifications and experience to conduct the job.

        The Service Supplier Visa is valid for 6 or 12 months, depending on your trade agreement.

        UK Business Visa Application Process

        Before applying for a UK business visa, you must determine that you meet the requirements for the category that’s appropriate for your business activity. Afterwards, gather your supporting documents for the application.

        Some documents you’ll need include:

        • A valid passport or travel document
        • Details of your job or business activity that you will undertake while you stay in the UK
        • Your certificate of sponsorship reference number
        • Business/company registration certificate and letter if you’re self-employed
        • Police clearance certificate
        • Bank statements proving you have enough money to support yourself in the UK
        • Proof that you meet the English language requirement

        Fill out the online application form on the UK government website, pay the application fee, and upload your supporting document.

        You may need to attend an appointment at the UK visa application centre in Pakistan, where you must submit your biometric information. You may also be asked some questions to confirm the information you provided in your application.

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          Eligibility Criteria for UK Business Visa

          In addition to the specific requirements for each UK business visa, you must fulfil the following general eligibility criteria:

          • You must be 18 years old or older
          • Show that you can support yourself and your dependents during your stay in the UK, or submit proof that someone else will fund your trip
          • Have enough money to pay for your return trip or show that someone else will pay for your return or journey
          • Demonstrate that you have no intention of living in the UK for extended periods
          • Prove that you have adequate knowledge of the English language, if applicable
          • Have a clean criminal record

          UK Visa Sponsorship for Employers

          If you need to employ a foreign national to work in the UK, either for your UK-based business or to perform services in the UK for your overseas business, you must have a sponsor licence. A sponsor licence indicates you have the right structure to hire, monitor, and manage foreign workers.

          After getting a sponsor licence, you can issue a certificate of sponsorship to the foreign employee, which they will use to apply for an appropriate visa.

          How Can Total Law Help?

          There are several business visas in the UK, and it can be overwhelming to determine which is right for you. However, Total Law can help.

          Our team of lawyers at Total Law have in-depth knowledge of UK immigration laws, and we have helped several applicants with their immigration situation. We can help you simplify your entire visa application process, whether you need help determining which visa best suits your needs or guidance on how to submit an application.

          If you’d like to speak with a lawyer, call us today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    The processing time for a UK business visa is typically 3 weeks.

                    You might be able to extend your stay on a long-term business visa, such as the Innovator Founder Visa and the Global Business Mobility visa. You may be unable to extend the short-term visas such as the Permitted Paid Engagement and the Business Visitor Visas.

                    Yes, most business visas allow you to bring your dependents with you. Some exceptions are short-term business visas; your dependent might need to apply for a visit visa to join you.